Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Candy Table

During Goddess' moving up ceremony party at school in June that signified the 3rd graders moving to 4th Goddess noticed immediately a candy table that was simply amazing. Getting her to focus on the fun and not the sweets that would ultimately be in her future was difficult but she did manage to have a great time with a few stops at the table to "take a peek".

Pink Saturday

We the kids were ready to go, they were allowed to get bags and fill them up! We were the first one at the table as we were leaving to go hang out with Handsome at a pool which in Goddess' eyes was way better than a super hot day waiting your turn to go down a water slide. I was okay with that as well. I missed my Handsome.

We didn't take much as I was nervous that there wouldn't be enough for all the kids. I did hear that they were practically giving it all away toward the end. Wish I had grabbed a bag for myself.

Office Depot Foundation Serves 3.3 Million Children Through National Backpack Program – Now in 14th Year

In the 14th year of its award-winning National Backpack Program, the Office Depot Foundation is donating 350,000 school sackpacks in seven brand new, colorful designs this year to help children around the world succeed in school. 

By the end of this year, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have donated more than 3.3 million backpacks and sackpacks to deserving children.  The sackpacks, which have been completely reimagined for 2014, feature seven kid-friendly designs – two for boys, two for girls and three that are unisex.  Each sackpack holds a zippered pouch containing essential school supplies – a pen, a pencil, four crayons, a pencil sharpener, an eraser and a 6-inch ruler. 

The sackpacks do not carry any Office Depot or Office Depot Foundation branding or logos.

The specially designed sackpacks are manufactured exclusively for the Foundation.  Highly contemporary in their design, they reflect and respond to changes in the ways that children are taking their materials to school.  Made from the same sturdy material as backpacks, they are water-resistant and lined to provide extra protection for their contents.  They feature strong ropes and have no metal parts. 

Intended primarily for use by students in grades K-5, the sackpacks also are suitable for older children, who use them in a variety of ways.  The sackpack is compact and stores flat, yet still offers plenty of room for books and other school items. 

The sackpacks are being donated throughout the summer as the Foundation carries out the 14th year of its National Backpack Program.  Every Office Depot and OfficeMax store in the United States has received approximately 50 sackpacks to give to nonprofit organizations and schools in their communities. 

In addition, sackpacks are being donated through more than 35 Back-to-School Celebration events in key Office Depot markets during the summer, as well as in collaboration with nine national nonprofits serving children in the U.S. and around the world:
·         AARP Experience Corps
·         Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
·         National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association
·         Feed The Children
·         Food For The Poor
·         Kids In Need Foundation
·         National Foundation for Women Legislators
·         Operation Homefront
·         Samaritan’s Feet International

About the Office Depot Foundation
The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of non-profit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards.  For more information, visit

Twitter: @OfficeDepotFndn · Hashtag: #ODFcares
Instagram: @officedepotfoundation

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Goddess Gets Her Cast OFF!

It wasn't terrible. It was just blah....
Goddess has had that cast one for most of her Summer.
Thursday was the day. It was coming off and boy were we happy.

She wasn't brave enough to look when they cut the cast off.
She wasn't brave enough to say no when they asked if she wanted to keep the cast.
She was brave enough to enter the x-ray room without even looking back at us.
She was brave enough to ask the doctor if it would hurt when he removed the pin to which he replied "no honey."
She wasn't brave enough to look when he put a special tool on the pin and twist and pull it out. little girl was so brave. She did cry out ouch and cry for a little while but she did way better then I could even imagine.

The cast is off, the skin looks terrible from being wrapped so long. The nail looks terrible. She is unable to move it but will be starting therapy soon.

For now her tears are gone and her mommy is so proud of how well she did.

AND she is still smiling

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Hidden Costs Associated with Moving Home

You’ve probably saved hard for a deposit on your new house, but don’t let the other costs of moving give you an unpleasant surprise.

You’ll soon discover that the deposit is just the start, and unless you’ve thought about conveyancing, estate agents, stamp duty, valuation fees, insurances and more – you could find your house move bill spiralling to much more than you’d expected.

For more information on those sometimes hidden moving costs, visit the Money Advice Service website and use the online mortgage calculator to get a realistic moving cost.
Some of the key additional costs to bear in mind include:

-          Estate agents fees – many offer different rates but you should expect them to take somewhere between 1% and 4% commission on the sale of your home.

-          Conveyancing/legal – fees are dependent on the cost of the property you’re buying or selling, typically you’d end up paying almost £600 in fees on a property of £167,000.

-          Valuation and survey fees – usually paid by the buyer, the cost of a survey can be up to £1,000 depending on the type of survey carried out.

-          Stamp Duty – this tax is payable on any property costing £125,000 or more. There’s a sliding scale which ranges from 1% on properties between £125,000 and £250,000, up to 7% on properties over £2 million.

-          Removal costs – depending on how many belongings you need to move (and how far you’re moving) you may have no choice but to use some kind of removal service, so make sure you factor this in – and leave enough time to get a number of quotes to get the best deal ( has some top tips on removal services, such as avoiding Fridays – particularly on a bank holiday weekend – as these are more expensive).

As well as the costs associated with the move itself, you’ll need to have a few things in place once you’ve moved in, including insurances for building and contents. Some lenders will also require you to have life insurance as a condition of your mortgage. Comparison sites such as or can help you find the best insurance deals.

Also be aware of costs associated with your new home which may give you an ongoing financial commitment. If you are buying a leasehold property, you’ll have to pay ground rent and service charges. Some new developments also operate an annual service charge to maintain landscaping on the estate. There’s no typical amount for these fees, and they will form part of your purchase information, but they are sometimes easy to overlook.

Finally, it may sound obvious, but if you’re moving to a different area or to a larger property, make sure you investigate how much more your household bills and council tax are going to be. You can search for your new council tax band on the Government’s website

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School = Back to Stress? 7 Signs Your Child May Have Anorexia

While this is something I don't have to deal with as the mom of a very happy, healthy 9 year old I myself suffered from bulimia years ago and know that it takes one thing to turn kids around and look at themselves through different eyes and it is usually the eyes that shouldn't even matter to them.

So, I am sharing this information found in my in-box this morning.

A nutritionist reveals warning signs parents should look out for.

As summer winds down and school starts up again, many students are feeling the pressure to show off their new wardrobes and look their best.

And with awkward body changes and constant pressure from the media, being around their peers could stir up fierce competition, especially in girls, says Andrea Szebeni, a registered nutritionist and dietician with the LighthouseRecovery Institute. For some teens, the stress of going back to school can cause them to battle symptoms of anorexia nervosa, says Szebeni, who helps young women overcome eating disorders.

Szebeni provides these seven warning signs that parents should look out for if they suspect anorexia:

1.      Denial of hunger. Is your child saying she is never hungry at meal times or that she already ate? This obviously may occur sporadically, but if you notice a consistent trend, be aware, Szebeni says.
2.      Preoccupation with food, weight, calories and dieting.
3.      Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food.
4.      Dramatic weight loss.
5.      Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food.
6.      Withdrawal from friends and family, especially events where food is involved.
7.      Your daughter no longer is menstruating.

If a child starts to exhibit any of these anorexia warning signs, it may be time to sit down and have a serious discussion with them or to seek professional help, Szebeni says.

About Lighthouse Recovery Institute
Lighthouse Recovery Institute ( is a licensed drug, alcohol and eating disorder treatment center in Delray Beach, Fla., specializing in recovery for women. At the Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our mission is to help each client attain peace, happiness and permanent sobriety. With more than 30 years of experience in the treatment of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, eating disorders and trauma, our passionate team of doctors, therapists, and specialists provide nothing but the highest quality of care for every woman who walks through our doors. The center has a staff of 15, including a clinical director, therapists, nutritionist/dietician, yoga instructor and marketing team. Twelve of the staff are in recovery themselves.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


~ Tips and Tricks To Plan An Unforgettable Celebration At An Affordable Price ~
RANDOLPH, Mass., August 26, 2014 – Planning and putting on the perfect birthday party for your little one can be both exciting and intimidating, especially with so much inspiration all around today, from flipping through magazines to gazing at Pinterest boards. Nevertheless, with easy-to-execute tips and worry-free decorations, it’s surprisingly easy to throw an unforgettable birthday bash that will leave your kids and guests completely impressed.
“A huge advantage to throwing at-home birthday parties for kids is that they’re completely customizable, and far more affordable,” says Paula Berberian, Creative Director of WallPops, the premier line of peel-and-stick wall art from Brewster Home Fashions. That means you can incorporate personal touches to make the birthday boy or girl feel extra-special as they celebrate their big day. “Not to mention, kids are more comfortable in their home environment,” she notes.
Below, Berberian reveals simple tips and tricks to throw the ultimate birthday party for the birthday star in your life. All WallPops products are available at select retailers and online at; to find a store near you, use the ‘Find a Retailer’ tool on the website.

Stick to a theme – “Determining a theme should be step one in the party planning process,” Berberian advises. “And, if your child is old enough, you should definitely ask for their input.” Jungle and safari themes are a big trend this year, so there are tons of accessories to create a cool Amazonian vibe. For added convenience, peel-and-stick decals like WallPops Let’s Go On Safari Kit and Sunny Day Safari Kit feature adorable animals that are easily removable and can be reused for future soirees. The Alphabet Zoo Kit is another twist you can throw in the mix, and Berberian recommends spelling out “Happy Birthday” or even the name of the birthday star with the animal-themed letters. The kids will love these mess-free decorations. (Kits retail from approximately $17.99 to $30.99 each).

Embrace the Celebration Spirit – When trying to think of clever and personal touches, don’t lose sight of more traditional decorations that really get guests in the celebratory spirit. Classic party d├ęcor gets a very modern twist when festive designs are incorporated, as evidenced by the Hailey Pennant Kit and Patchwork Daisy Stripes. These removable decals transform any room in yourself into a bona fide party space, and you can peel them off when the party is over. (Both retail from approximately $17.99 to $30.99 each).

Set Up a Photo Booth – Renting a real photo booth can be quite expensive, but there’s an easy and temporary solution to creating a one-of-a-kind backdrop. “Delegate one wall in the house to act as a fun and festive backdrop for photos,” Berberian suggests. WallPops Under the Sea Kit and Fish Tales Decals create an especially entertaining nautical scene that will inspire some hilarious fish faces. For an added bonus, take out the goggles and snorkeling kits for fun accessories. If you have a Polaroid camera, you can give guests a copy of their photo booth picture as a party favor. (Both retail for approximately $17.99 each).

Plan a Secret Surprise – Instead of splurging on the latest gadget or popular toy, surprise the birthday boy or a girl with a gift that will make them smile every day – a brand new bedroom. “Our new peel-and-stick headboards coordinate with existing kits,” Berberian says. “They’re all quite large, it feels like a story book playing out right on their wall.” The little lady in your life will swoon over the WallPops Social Butterfly Twin Headboard, and the WallPops Butterfly Chandelier is a pretty finishing touch. (All headboards retail at approximately $35.99 and all chandeliers retail at approximately $30.99 each).

Make Some Memories – Kids can be easily overwhelmed by all of the attention they get during their birthday bash, and may not even remember all of the guests who came out to bring in the big day. To make sending thank-yous easy, arrange a sign-in station. “A dry erase board is also a great way for the birthday honoree to read personalized messages from all of their friends and family,” Berberian says. WallPops Large Chalk Message Board provides a nice, large surface for everyone to leave their birthday wishes, and the Learn to Write Chalkboard is the perfect option for younger guests. The best part is that after the party, you can remove and reapply the chalkboard in your little one’s room so they can feel the love all year round. (Both retail for approximately $17.99).

“WallPops take the stress out of party planning so you can spend more time enjoying the festivities instead of worrying about clean up or how much you spent,” Berberian concludes.

WallPops by Brewster Home Fashions is the premier line of peel-and-stick wall art on the market today with on-trend design and total coordination possibilities. Headquartered in Randolph, Mass., Brewster Home Fashions is one of the oldest independent, family-owned wallcovering companies in the U.S. that now spans five generations. Since 1954, Brewster Home Fashions has been a prominent manufacturer and distributor of fine wallpapers and home decor products for residential and commercial markets globally. For more information, visit or call Brewster Home Fashions at 1-800-366-1700